EghtesadOnline: Iran’s semi-finished steel exports during the first six months of the current fiscal year (March 21-Sept. 22) stood at 3.19 million tons, up 86% year-on-year, Iranian Steel Producers Association’s latest report showed.
Slab shipments made up the bulk of H1 exports and reached 1.6 million tons, up 185% YOY. Billet and bloom exports came next with 24% growth to 1.58 million tons.
Finished steel exports were down 52% to 576,000 tons. Rebar and coated coils were the only products posting upticks with 278,000 tons, up 100% and 25,000 tons, up 67% respectively.
Hot- and cold-rolled coil and beams were down 80%, 95% and 20% YOY to 156,000, 6,000 and 86,000 tons respectively, Financial Tribune reported.
Continuing the year’s dominant trend, imports were down across the almost entire spectrum of steel products, save for a few products. Semi- and finished steel imports were down 89% and 31% YOY to stand at 13,000 and 1.02 million tons respectively. Beam and coated coil were the only products whose imports recorded growth.
No shift has been recorded so far this year in Iranian steelmakers’ trading patterns. Semi exports have gained in prominence while less finished steel has been shipped abroad.
This can mostly be explained by the shift in supply patterns of Iran’s largest flat steelmaker, Mobarakeh Steel Company, which has turned its attention away from oversea markets toward local users. This can be particularly witnessed in month-on-month drops in shipments of MSC’s hot- and cold-rolled coils.
Accordingly, the rise in rebar shipments can be attributed to Esfahan Steel Company’s move in the opposite direction compared to MSC. The debt-laden veteran steelmaker is boosting exports in the face of a slump in the domestic construction sector.
Iran’s H1 steel usage data show semi-finished steel usage dropped by 4% YOY to 7.26 million tons while finished steel consumption grew by 13% YOY to 10.1 million tons. Apparent steel usage has been on the rise month-on-month so far this year.
HRC had the highest usage among finished products with 4.05 million tons, up 13% YOY; followed by rebar with 2.8 million tons, down 7% YOY; CRC with 1.5 million tons, up 40% YOY; coated coil with 922,000 tons, up 39% YOY; and beams with 394,000 tons, down 2% YOY.
Iranian steelmakers produced 10.4 million tons of semis and 9.68 of finished steel during the six-month period, up 14% and 11% YOY respectively compared with last year’s corresponding period.
As for finished steel, HRC had the lion’s share of output with 3.76 million tons, registering a 7% growth YOY. It was followed by rebar with 3.07 million tons, down 2% YOY; CRC with 1.19 million tons, up 37% YOY; coated coil with 778,000 tons, up 51% YOY; beam with 460 tons, down 7% YOY; and “other steel products” with 415,000 tons, up 146% YOY.
For semis, billet and bloom output was up 15% to 5.56 million tons, and slab production increased by 13% to reach 4.87 million tons.